1995-11-21: Find The Center


Cianan_icon.gif Ron_icon.gif Rene_icon.gif Harry_icon.gif Julian_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif

Scene Title Find the Center
Synopsis The first meeting of this year's 'MA'.
Location Room of Requirement
Date November 21, 1995
Watch For Frustrations, explanations and … health concerns?
Logger I am the Bad Wolf

Tuesday evening's dinner saw the young Defense professor attending but eating quickly, lightly and slipping away early. It's not a terrible distance from her quarters to the Room, but enough so that she wanted to buy herself a bit of extra time. The Room, responding to her silent hand-pressed request for practice space gave her … well, something rather unique. Now - dressed in long, black stretchy-silk pants and a glaringly pink camisole - she paces along the far end of the room. Draped across the shoulders of one of the dummies - like a large, sleek scarf - is a white, winged serpent, filmy eyes blinking lazily as its head tracks Siobhan's progress back and forth across the room.

The note said to dress so that he'd be able to move. So after muttering something about moving just fine in his OLD clothes… Cianan rifled through his trunk of new-to-you beneficience and came up with a pair of jogging pants and t-shirt that should work well enough. He did come cross a pair of tights, and after staring at them with a curious expression, made a mental note to find out which cousin -those- belonged to. Ahem. "Evening." he murmurs, upon arrival, looking first at Sio and then at Q. "Hope I'm not late…"

A ginger appears at the entrance, his bright, red hair announcing his appearance before anything else. "Blimey," he says, walking in, no doubt followed by one or two people. With the exception of a bushy-haired brunette, of course, who's more than likely off in the library studying about the legendary sea owls of Antartica, or something like that. Knowledge is power, right?

Taking a look around the room, he mills about, not really saying or doing anything at this point. He gives a nod and smile over to Siobhan, and another nod to Cianan — someone he's not really familiar with — and resumes talking to Harry, eyes wandering about the room.

"- a hidden room down there," Harry finishes a thought as he steps into the Room alongside Ron. He clamps up on that particular train of thought, rolling his shoulders a little and checking the pocket of his jeans for his wand. Yep, it's there. Not like he'd forget it, after all.

Being the one to actually have started this, at behest of Siobhan, Rene looks appropriately apprehensive when he sneaks into the room- if people get embarrassed here, no doubt he may feel some blame for it. It happens. His hair is pulled back into a plait again today, as if that style is the only way to avoid the winds of winter railing at his little frame and sending that hair flying everywhere. His clothes are dated, though comfortable- a somewhat thick, mud-gray woolen sweater over a shirt, and his jeans seem to have a bit of stretch to them.

He takes a look around the room, somewhere between impressed and hesitant about things. The serpent draped over one of the dummies, however, soon grabs his attention, and Rene steps closer to Siobhan to look at him. "He's looking good. Has he shed this year?" Shed, molt, which is it with a winged snake?

Siobhan recognizes those clothes, so her expression when she turns to Cianan is a very strange cross between happy, relieved and smug. "Not late at all." She watches first Ron and Harry, then Rene slip in. Ron's smile seems to surprise Sio if her slight jump is anything to go by, but she returns it - just a touch wary. Rene is one of the few people to whom Q had exposure before her time of adolescent friendliness passed. This means that instead of immediate attack, he merely gets a strange tilt of the head from the creature, slender tongue flicking the air to taste his scent. "Her, actually. And I think she's getting ready to, actually. Last time was around Christmas and she's flaking even after a good oiling." When it looks like this is all they'll get, the corners of her mouth turn down into a frown. "Four out of eight isn't terrible, I guess." And better to have those not sure not show up than back out later. "Alright you lot. Pick a spot on the floor and sit so you're comfortable." If brown eyes keep darting to the door, on the lookout for a small mop of darkly curly hair, hopefully no one will call her on it. Maybe he got detention. "Has anyone ever heard of a branch of magic called Occlumency?" she inquires, dropping into her 'classroom voice' just as easily as she folds herself into a 'tailor style' cross-legged sit at the head of the room facing them all.

Cianan is sorely tempted to stick out his tongue at Siobhan when he espies the smug portion of her expression. Instead he hnphs a little under his breath, and then offers wary smiles and brief nods to everyone else that winds up walking in to join them. "Yes ma'am." he chirps, deliberately baiting cousin Noble while he goes to find a spot to sit. "Heard of it, sure." But, that's all he says.

It doesn't take long for Ron to find a spot on the floor. In fact, he just sits down where he's at, really, but it's still close to Siobhan and where she'll be teaching whatever it is they're about to learn. He pulls his wand out of his back pocket as he leans back slightly, placing his hands on either side of him, wand carefully held under his right hand. Legs stretched out in front of him, he turns his eyes on Siobhan, giving a small nod when the word Occlumency comes up.

Harry picks a spot and sits, leaning back on his hands and casting a look around the Room. The talk of the winged snake peaks his interest for a moment, but then the talk turns to branches of magic that he's heard about but had no real experience with. His brow furrows as he pushes his glasses up his nose. Sounds important.

Rene is probably watching too, though at a far less obvious degree. He seems content to watch Q from that distance until it comes time to gather'round on the floor. The Slytherin boy sits down with his legs tucked under him, the bagginess of his sweater seeming to threaten the rest of him. He chews on his lip when she questions them, having more luck in guessing what Occlumency is from the root words, rather than having any knowledge of what it is.

"Something to do with sight?" Rene squints at her, then at Cianan, as it looks like he actually knows.

Cianan gets a sharp Look for that saucy ma'am. What is she, fifty? Still, training with Jethro has taught her that the smallest shows of respect - even those meant in a bit of jest - can influence one's chances of maintaining control over a group. "Good, you've at least heard of it." Rolling first one shoulder and then the other, she slowly lifts her arms over her head, rotating her abdomen to loosen the muscles in her back and shoulders. "A shielding of the mind from outside invasion, Rene." She's already done her own stretching, exercise and training for the day, so it doesn't take much at all to adjust her body into more comfort. "Occlumency itself is an obscure and incredibly difficult branch of magic to master." It took her the better part of a year to become comfortable with and her early months were filled with one-on-one lessons from a master at the art. "If you choose to stay once you know my rules, the first thing I will teach you is one of the basic building blocks to Occlumency, but even if you never achieve full shielding, a well-organized mind may very well save your life in a duel."

With a deceptive casualness, she meets Cianan's gaze and holds onto that eye-contact, continuing to do the stretches to her upper body. It's a deceptively short span of time before she blinks and lets her mouth quirk up in a lazy, predatory grin. "Avery's not on the list, Kee, but if you think she can follow the rules and still wants to learn, you're welcome to bring her next time." To the rest of them, she explains just a little of what she just did. "There are opponents out there who can pluck your next move from inside your own mind. If you do not learn to organize your thoughts in some way, you are a completely open book to them. They will know what you're doing before you do and they will kill you." So much for being reassuring.

"Now, the rules." She passes her gaze over the small group. "Both sides in this war - and don't let the Ministry lie to you, this is a war - have a disturbing tendency to pick their soldiers from among Hogwarts' children. Since you were told about an opportunity to learn more about how to fight, that tells me that you're just the sort of people both sides will be seeking out to fill their ranks. My purpose here is to make sure you know what you're doing. I want to give you the tools to make your own decisions based on what you believe in and not out of fear." She takes a breath and arches her back, popping two vertebrae and sighing in relief.

"Inside this room, I don't care whether or not you believe in Dumbledore or Voldemort's causes. Inside this room, you have no side, no House - you are not Pureblood or Half-blood or Muggleborn. You will treat each other with respect and you will leave all personal grievances behind you. You will follow my instructions and you work hard. It's more than just an extra class. I run first thing in the morning with Special Agent Gardiner. You will join us. You will be put through your paces until your bodies and magic work with each other, rather than against. The most important rule, however, is secrecy. If the wrong person finds out that I am teaching you without regard to sides, I could very well end up dead. If you cannot - or do not wish to - follow these rules, you may leave now."

Taking his cue from Siobhan's movements, Cianan starts a series of stretches that is pretty much meant to mimic exactly that of the Professor. It's his sharp gaze that gives away keen interest in the subject of occlumency until suddenly… "… … … ok." If his jaw tightens a little at having his thoughts yanked out of his head just that easily, one can't really blame him right? An embarrassing train of thought at that, if the way his cheeks color are any indication.
But, he forces himself to ignore that, listening next to the rules. Rules that force him to lock eyes on his newfound cousin with a mix of worry and concern. And then, a look over at the other students there as if waiting for their reactions. Notably, he isn't moving or going anywhere.

"What?" Harry says, perhaps a little too loudly even though it is only intended as a whisper to Ron. All the same, his voice echoes a little throughout the Room. He falls back into silence, although given the knitting of his brow and the whiteness of his knuckles there is something on his mind.

Julian strides into the room late. "Sorry, Professor. I got mto reading my homework and didn't hear the chime." He winces slightly. "Frenchy! You forgot to tell me!" Or wasn't anywhere near him, maybe. Who knows. Someone whispers what he can remember of the rules and Julian nods his head. "Sounds good Nobl — I mean, Professor Noble. There's a question, Professor?" He pauses to gather his thoughts and consider how to phrase the question before proceeding. "How do you want us to address you? I am used to adressing you by your surname, though not in class…" Mainly because of school rules, that is, "or even more informally. Would you prefer us to keep the formal, or do you care?" It's a small question, but he's a small guy. Yeah, that's it.

Jumping slightly at the name of Voldemort, Ron jumps once again when Harry says what a little too loudly. Frowning slightly, the redhead turns his eyes to his friend before looking back up at Siobhan. He opens his mouth, closes it, and then finally opens it again when he speaks. He isn't positive what's on Harry's, but he can take a good guess, because it's most likely the same thing he's thinking. "What do you mean — people for You-Know-Who's cause? You're saying you're okay with training people who could end up fighting for him?"

Both sides? Ranks? Great. Rene can't help but wonder what that says about his family, too. My, my. He knits his fingers together as he listens, and for a time, that is all that he does. His lips press thin on his small face, and though he looks suddenly peakish, Rene manages to hold onto the neutral mote in him that put him here. He can't help but slowly peer over his shoulder at the others, though, and jerks his attention back to the front when Harry lets them know his- ah- take.

"You were the one with your nose in the binding on the other side of the castle." Rene suffices with huffing at Bean, though it sounds quite like a joke. He glances at Ron, when the redheaded boy pipes up. "I think, that perhaps- her worry lies in making sure none of us die, regardless."

Bean's arrival gets a relieved grin, but it's Harry that gains the intensity of her focus. "Is there a problem, Mister Potter?" There's a distinct chill to Siobhan's voice as she asks, a chill which melts into something much warmer and softer when she answers Ron's much more coherent query. "Rene has the basic gist of it, yes. I have taken steps - " no, she does not clarify these 'steps' " - to protect all of my students in every way I can." In and out of the classroom. "But those who have the spirit and the tenacity to fight are the first to be preyed on by any side in any war. I have faith that no child I know would choose Voldemort if he felt he had any choice at all and knew the reality, but I know several with good reason not to trust the Headmaster, either. Sometimes in life, you're caught between a rock and a hard place." And it's clear by her voice that she hates that, but now is not the time to show that hand. Maybe soon, but not now. "I'm saying that if someone I train ends up on the other side of a battlefield from me, I will know that it is by their choice and I have given them the best chance of survival that I could. Now," she adds, bending at the waist to lie across her crossed legs in one final stretch, trusting that - like Cianan - the others would have had enough sense to be following along. "If you can't live with that, you're free to leave. Otherwise, I think it's time to move on."

As for Bean's query, Siobhan has to grin. "In here, Siobhan or Sio is fine. When we're working with Special Agent Gardener, however, I would recommend shifting to ma'am and sir. He's US Military, after all." That and she likes to mess with his head a little.

Cianan gives Bean a friendly nod when he arrives, but otherwise remains quiet as Harry and Ron bring attention to their apparent misgivings. He stays quiet throughout talk of war and sides and survival, but finds himself nodding anyway at the end of the Professor's answer. "Thank you, Sio." No, he's not talking about his clothes there! He, for one, certain appreciates the additional chance of survival thanks.

Julian nods. "That works, Sio. Thank you." He tries to follow the stretches, getting most of them right, but adding some of his own. His body can still bend in very interesting ways. He's not exactly sure why, but he'll go with it. He gets all stretched out, then shrugs at the point of contention. "It's better to have someone be trained, and if she's trained them, she can teach them all they know." He grins, the second layer obvious to him, and probably the other Snakes. "But definitely not all she knows."

Siobhan's mention of the Special Agent gets a frown. "He's a Yank?" The tone is a little bit worried. "I missed that bit. What's he gonna teach us?"

"My worry lies in making sure we're not training more people for You-Know-Who's side of the army," Ron says, with just a hint of animosity behind his words. "Since, oh I don't know, he's out to kill most of us and take over the wizarding world." There's definitely animosity now — it's not directed at Rene, but more a general representation of how he feels right now. Choices or not, Voldemort is the clear bad guy in Ron's book. Why should they tolerate anyone who stands for his ideals, student or not? Either way, the redhead shrugs and turns his eyes on Harry. Silent words are exhanged between the two, as is usual for best mates, and with a shrug he turns his attention back to Siobhan. Apparently, he's going to stay — at least for now.

Rene gives Ron a somewhat stony look- would he have asked you if he thought anyone here was going to work for the antagonist? Honestly. He just settles into a frown now, crossing his forearms. "She's right, about having faith in the kids she knows." That none of the ones that she has such in, would choose such a path. "I do not think any of us willing to be here do not feel the same. We are here because we know the danger, and we want to survive it, if not actually fight it." Rene's tone began as somewhat clipped, but in the end it adopts a certain familiar softness. Perhaps it is that he speaks sometimes as an older soul, rather than a thirteen year one.

"That said, I can safely say that we are all on the same page when it comes to-" He grits his teeth, leaving the end to drop. Rene hates to even think the name, even if he was aiming to use one of the many nom-de-plumes.

"But Frenchy," Bean pipes up, frowning worriedly at his friend. "She's saying it doesn't matter to her if you did decide to go that way. I mean, it'd matter in her heart, but not in what you did. Because she taught you what she could, and part of that is …" He considers how to phrase the comment. "S'like … " He shrugs. waving a hand at both Ron and his friend. "One would hope that in spending time with us, they'd learn how we are and why we do make the choices we do. Maybe, if they come in here with the intent to serve Voldemort," he has no qualms about saying a stupid French name (sorry, Rene), "exposure to intelligent, creative people might deter them on some other front. Either becasue we're nice to them and they find out that the bad guys aren't, or because they're scared of how effectively we do things, and don't wanna be on the other side. It gives them a better idea of how the land lays. Which is always a good thing." The smallest boy now stands straight, and if there were a table nearby, he would be standing on it. "Wouldn't you want the choice to do the right thing if the tables were turned? If it were that dark bloke standing here teaching? True, he wouldn't, but that's kinda the point, innit?"

There's a minute tightening of Siobhan's jaw, tension building in that line and in the slope of her neck and shoulders. It is thanks to Cianan's quiet support and Julian's sly affirmation that she does not snap back. "The Death Eaters are trained vigorously, Ron. Believe me, if anyone in this room chooses to follow Voldemort, they will save him only a little bit of time." She channels her frustration into a smile, then, one that is not entirely pleasant. "He's out to conquer the world, yes. If you get in his way, he will kill you, yes. But it's a mistake at this point to think he's actively out to kill you. You're not that important. The only exception to that rule, currently, is Mister Potter." She knows it's a harsh reality to bring home, but it's a comfort - in a back-handed, Slytherin way. Hard to escape what she is, after all. Rene's comments get a further tensing of her shoulders, but when Bean takes care of it, she merely nods silent approval. Good to see the Snakes take care of their own. "Now, thankfully, tonight's lesson is going to be on meditation and stretching." Because more tension would probably make the lesson end badly. "Stretching not only feels really nice, it makes the muscles more likely to bend than rip or tear, helps keep you flexible, too - which minimizes lots of different kinds of injuries. Meditation is the first step to organizing your mind. A well-organized mind will give you a better chance at keeping your thoughts to yourself and also will give you a better chance to throw off the Imperius curse."

"It would seem to me…" Cianan doesn't really speak his thoughts very often. So when he does it tends to be in the low tones he's using now. Quiet, almost soft in voice. "That arguing amongst ourselves is the best way to give Voldemort exactly what he wants. Dissension. Discord. Mistrust. He would inflame old prejudice', and turn allies against each other. So perhaps part of todays lesson should be in trusting the best intentions of one other as well as meditation." he muses, then going back to being silent. And stretching. And did we mention silent?
"Can you explain how the meditation will help organize our minds? Can it also help direct them?"

Rene gives Julian a bit of a frown this time. "I was just putting out there that I don't think anyone in here's gonna up and go for an ugly tattoo, is all. I appreciate choices to do as one pleases as much as any other Slytherin, you know that." He gives off a small chuckle, at least, hoping that miscommunication is all it is. "But we still need something to agree on, even if its as small as that. I think Cianan is right though, about the trust thing. It is a good notion."

And, as many thirteen your old boys do, he is mercurial in his concerns. "I can put my feet behind my head, does that count?"

It's rare that Ron is able to hold his tongue, and even then, it's only just so — his mouth is open, his brow is furrowed, and his nostrils are blazing with eyes flashing — but even so, he manages to keep quiet. What exactly he's yearning to lash out about is anyone's guess, but with a deep breath he calms himself somewhat, turning his attention back to the matters at hand. It's with a quiet demeanor that he listens to what the others have to say, and it's not that he doesn't hear them, it's just that he can't exactly say what he wants to say, or at the least, he's unsure how to say it.

Still, he has enough respect for Siobhan — despite the fact she's a Slytherin — to warrant him keeping his mouth shut and paying attention.

Heaving an audible sigh - probably of relief - Siobhan gives Ron a grateful look and even mouths a silent 'thank you'. She's been getting far, far too much time dealing with volatile Gryffindor tempers of late. It's starting to wear on her health. "Meditation teaches you to clear your thoughts out of your head. An empty mind is like a blank book - very difficult to read. During meditation, you slowly learn how to slow your heartbeat and your breathing, giving you more control over both of those things. Bean, can you tell me when it would be a life-saver to be able to slow down your heartbeat?" Her own mind works by branching, by connecting lots of little, easy-to-understand, practical facts. She teaches that way, too. "As for directing your minds, meditation will - with practice - help you to find a place of calm with ease. So in the sense that control over your own mind - your thoughts and emotions - is easier when you're calm, then yes. Some say it even helps them focus." Shifting to sit on her seat-bones, she flattens out the curve of her crossed legs and rests both hands relaxed on the insides of her knees. "It helps in the beginning to close your eyes. Concentrate on breathing slowly and deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Make sure you feel the breath in your stomach and not your chest. Slow… Easy…"

"Room full of some weird gas or smell. Like if Weasley's potion blew up." Bean replies easily, giving a quick grin to the red-head to show he's teasing. "You don't inhale as much…" His voice trails off as she starts to explain. He sits down, copying her position nearly perfectly, and starts to try to slow his breathing. It does calm him somewhat, but his little mind can't shut off. Literally. So, he tries to get it to quiet as much as possible.

Rene copies Siobhan as well, giving a glance to the other boys before settling into it. "Or with animals. Most can sense it." Especially predators, but he leaves that unsaid when he adds something to Bean's answer, voice smoothing out a bit to keep quieter than Siobhan, almost a whisper by the time they all settle in. "…Like snakes."

"Right, or," Siobhan begins, her mouth quirking up into something that promises to be a smile but doesn't quite deliver. Being interrupted by Rene doesn't seem to bother her one whit, not when his thoughts seem to dovetail so nicely with her own. "If you've been bitten by one of those snakes, your natural instinct is to panic, but the faster heartbeat actually pushes the venom through your body quicker." And after seeing the size of the Dark Lord's 'pet', Siobhan is just a touch more wary of snakebite, thankyouverymuch. "If you're in a pinch and someone's rooting around in your head for information - and believe me, if they're rooting, you'll know - start thinking of the most useless information you can. It'll shove all sorts of thoughts and memories at them that aren't what they're after. It's a last resort, but it can buy you a couple seconds." And sometimes a couple seconds are all that's needed. "For meditation, however, focus on keeping your breathing slow and even, relax into the silence until you can hear your own heart."

Julian is manfully trying to slow his small body down. "Useless information," he whispers. "I can do that bit." And boy, can he. He's got two years' worth of gossip on castle things, as well as eleven years' worth of random rambles by people like Crazy John to offer. In clear and perfect memory. In fact, some of Crazy John's stuff would be perfect to throw back at someone like old Voldemort. However, slowing his mind enough to hear his heartbeat…. not so much. "Siobhan?" For the first time in a while, Bean's voice is unsure. "I think I have a problem."

"Useless like …how best to clean bird stain out of carpeting?" Rene has his eyes screwed shut and is relatively simmering when Bean speaks; he cracks one eye open and looks, a suspicious expression coming over his face for just a moment. He tries to quell himself, but to no avail. "Are you having trouble?" His concern is true, even if his intent to actually find out is less so. "This is just your first try." There will be time to get it right, right?

Cracking an eye open at Bean's hesitating question, Siobhan has to bite her lip to keep from laughing at the face Rene makes. "The point is to relax, Rene. No need to screw your eyes." It's gentle, friendly teasing - her mood improves with the silence and complacency of the others. When she turns to Julian, however, there's a glint of real concern in her expression. "What's wrong, Bean? You feeling alright?"

"It won't stop." Bean purposefully relaxes, purposefully closes his eyes gently. "I've never gotten it to stop. Not even to sleep." He has a list of things he goes through to get himself to sleep. Stupid things, inane things, like doing his doubles over and over, but this? Pure empty mind? Never. "In fact, when I try, it just goes faster. On four different levels. My body I can relax easily." And it's true. His limbs are loose, his expression fairly blank.

He turns to Rene, slightly angling his head to see his small friend. "You know how I can get." And he should. "I'm always collecting." Information, news, ideas. Collecting, collating, reorganizing.

"Yes, I know how you can get." The blond boy replies gently, for once. He does know, and can see it every night for himself. "Maybe there is something you can take for it?" They have things like that in the muggle world, don't they? Rene is not certain if it is something mutually existent. "You can do it. It may take some time." Faith seems a theme today, doesn't it?

Nose wrinkling in concentration, Siobhan tilts her head to one side, considering. "You have to bore yourself to sleep?" That - to someone who gets regular bouts of insomnia and sleep starvation - is horrifying. Rene's suggestion is considered thoughtfully. "There's a Calming Draught for sure, also a couple different types of sleep aids - the strongest being Dreamless Sleep." She pauses, wheels spinning in her steel-trap mind. "Have you been given any of those before, Bean?"

Uh, what? "I think someone gave me a Calming Draught this summer, and maybe even Dreamless Sleep. I don't know. They gave me a couple things. Nothing helped." Bean shrugs, somehow keeping his body still and calm. "My mind has always been this way. For as long as I can remember. And I can remember pretty far back. Like I know I've ridden in …" He tries to remember. "I know I've ridden in an aeroplane. And it took three naps for me to get where I was going." But that's not important, that he knows of. "If I can distract whoever with useless information, then I can try that. But this? Not gonna happen."

It isn't often that Rene likes to think someone is genuinely a bit crazy- it runs in his family, in a manner of speaking, so he does not let himself get carried away. Could happen to anyone. "It doesn't sound like a sleep problem, Professor." He is formal in this situation, at least. "He does a lot of thinking in the evenings. Too much, sometimes. I've wondered if it is sleep, but- what if it is something muggles may know more about?" Magic and science, they get along like awful cousins.

Waving her hand impatiently at Rene in a silent order for silence at least the Slytherins among the students might recognize - though Siobhan apparently is too distracted to do so - as one made often by their shared Head of House when on a rabbit trail of thought. "I'm not thinking it's sleep." She's going down another path, but Julian's answers bring her up frustratingly short. A dip appears between her brows and she pulls her lower lip to worry between her teeth. "Just concentrate on centering your emotions and slowing down your heartbeat and breathing for now, Bean. I'll … " See what she can see. After all, when one of her snakes is at risk, Sio can be rather relentless. A hungry-sounding creel from behind startles her out of her thoughts and her wand is swiftly tapped out into her hand. A silent Tempus shows the hour is later than expected. "I use the time cooling down after running to practice," she offers. "Do it once more before you go to bed at night and it'll start coming easier. For now, best get back to your common rooms. I'll see you all out in front of the castle at 0630." Jethro's time-keeping seems simplest for the morning hours, still. "We'll be running, so be prepared." And that seems like a pretty clear enough dismissal. To her, at least.

It is, and Bean nods. There have been several other things the young man has noticed health-wise, but he saves them for later. "Thank you Sio." For more than just the instruction. He smiles a half-smile that exposes the age in his eyes. "I think it may help anyway. Even if I never get to that place of silence, it'll help." He grins.

It's been an interesting lesson. Aside from the small hiccups at the start, at least it's been entertaining. Slipping his wand into his back pocket, Ron turns to Siobhan and offers her another small nod. He tries to express by raised eyebows that they'll have to talk sometime soon — there's simply been too much on his plate with homework and classes that he hasn't had a chance to — but all he does is end up looking like he's curious about her. Which, really, probably doesn't make any sense to the woman. Turning to Harry, the two exchange nods before heading out of the room. "See ya, mates," Ron says with a goofy wave, stepping outside of the room with his fellow Gryffindor.

Ah, but Siobhan is a Slytherin - a leader among the serpents. Between her and those within her - admittedly narrow - circle of trust, much more than a simple desire to talk could (and has) been communicated with far less … straining than seems to go into Ron's attempt. Siobhan returns his nod slowly, one corner of her mouth twitching in repressed amusement. Yes, dear. Message received and acknowledged. Waiting until the last of the students files out of the room, Siobhan stands and stretches, stowing her wand back in its wrist holster and lifting Q to drape around her own shoulders. "I know, I promised you a pigeon, dear one. I know. We'll go and get your squab, then we'll go pick Sev's brains, hmm?" Scritching the critter under the chin in a rare display of unguarded, affectionate indulgence for the beast - hey, with the kids gone, no one can call her on it, right? - she chuckles to herself and slips out the door, watching it fade back into the castle wall and departing, fingertips trailing over familiar stone in another kind as she begins her descent.

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